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Listen in as Pastor Jonathan Wolfgang concludes our series Sacred Rhythms with Torah. Life today is often a check list—sleep, eat, work, and repeat. How can we find transcendence in the mundane, to find God in the rhythms of daily life? As we discover the spiritual practices of Jesus, we’ll find those sacred rhythms and learn how to weave them in our everyday lives. Listen and explore Psalm 119:97–104 and Matthew 5:17 and what it means to weave God’s word in everyday living.

Small Group Questions

1. What was the view or attitude of the Bible in the home where you grew up? How has that view changed in your life and what caused it?
2. In what ways is the image of an owner’s manual a healthy or unhealthy way of viewing the Bible? What other images or comparisons would you suggest?
3. Think of periods of spiritual health in your life. What part has Bible reading and study played in that health? What habits have helped you most? How are those habits right now?
4. Read Psalm 119:97–104. God’s word is nourishment to our souls. How have you been incorporating scripture reading into your meal times this week?
5. This Sunday, the church is leaving the building! Spend some time praying for Community Serve Day coming this Sunday, 9 am to 1 pm. Ask God to use this experience to deepen relationships and open doors in our community to tell others of Jesus.

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Listen in as Pastor Jonathan Wolfgang concludes our series Sacred Rhythms with Torah. Life today is often a check list—sleep, eat, work, and repeat. How can we find transcendence in the mundane, to find God in the rhythms of daily life? As we discover the spiritual practices of Jesus, we’ll find those sacred rhythms and learn how to weave them… Continue reading →

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Listen in as Pastor Jonathan Wolfgang continues our series Sacred Rhythms with Tallit & Tefillin. Life today is often a check list—sleep, eat, work, and repeat. How can we find transcendence in the mundane, to find God in the rhythms of daily life? As we discover the spiritual practices of Jesus, we’ll find those sacred rhythms and learn how to weave them in our everyday lives. We’ll explore Numbers 15:37–41 and what it means to weave God’s word in everyday living.

Small Group Questions

1. Spend some time reviewing the week. How did you practice the idea of Mezuzah? Share any experiences or insights.

2. Have you ever worn clothes or jewelry that indicated you were a Christian? (T-shirts with Christian messages, jewelry with cross or other Christian symbols, etc.) How have people responded? How did wearing these clothes effect your attitude or behavior?

3. Read Matthew 5:17–20. Do you think Christians should spend time reading and learning the Old Testament? Why or why not? What benefits have you gained from studying the Old Testament?

4. Read Hebrews 10:24–25. We tend to see prayer as a private activity instead of a community one. What are the dangers in this? What are the benefits of praying in community? How could you do this during the week?

5. Spend extended time tonight praying together. Spend some time sharing praises, needs, or requests. Are there any areas where you need healing (physically, spiritually, emotionally, etc.)? Then spend time praying for one another.

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Listen in as Pastor Jonathan Wolfgang continues our series Sacred Rhythms with Tallit & Tefillin. Life today is often a check list—sleep, eat, work, and repeat. How can we find transcendence in the mundane, to find God in the rhythms of daily life? As we discover the spiritual practices of Jesus, we’ll find those sacred rhythms and learn how to… Continue reading →

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Listen in as Pastor Jonathan Wolfgang begins our series Sacred Rhythms with Mezuzah. Life today is often a check list—sleep, eat, work, and repeat. How can we find transcendence in the mundane, to find God in the rhythms of daily life? As we discover the spiritual practices of Jesus, we’ll find those sacred rhythms and learn how to weave them in our everyday lives. We’ll explore Deuteronomy 6:4–9 and what it means to weave God’s word in everyday living.

Small Group Questions

1. Describe a favorite tradition in your life. How was it started? What makes it so meaningful to you?

2. What daily routines or rituals have you used in your spiritual life? How have these helped you grow?

3. Make a list of activities you do each day. How could you incorporate a “mezuzah” into those experiences?

4. Either from memory or by using an online tool, find a verse that relates to each of the activities you listed in question 3. How might bringing these verses to mind change the way you approach that activity?

5. Community Serve Day is coming Sunday, August 24. How will you and your group be involved? Visit communityserveday.org for details and to sign up.

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Listen in as Pastor Jonathan Wolfgang begins our series Sacred Rhythms with Mezuzah. Life today is often a check list—sleep, eat, work, and repeat. How can we find transcendence in the mundane, to find God in the rhythms of daily life? As we discover the spiritual practices of Jesus, we’ll find those sacred rhythms and learn how to weave them… Continue reading →

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Listen in as Pastor Jonathan Alexander concludes our series Practical Atheist with Free Agent or Team Player? When things don’t seem to work out, when plans don’t fall into place as expected, how do you handle it? Are you a free agent trying to fix it yourself, or do you team up with God, the Ultimate Team Manager, and rely on His power and plan? We’ll explore James 5:13–20 and what it means to means to trust in God’s great plan.

Small Group Questions

1. When it comes to recreation, do you tend to prefer group activities (or team sports) or activities done alone (individual sports)? Why?

2. Read James 5:13–18. How have you seen God bring healing through prayer?

3. Read Ephesians 5:11–14. Hidden sin loses its power when it’s brought into the light. How have you experienced this? How can confession bring freedom?

4. Read James 5:19–20. Tell about a time someone confronted something in your life. What did they do well? What could they have done better? What have you learned about being accountable?

5. Think back over the Practical Atheist series (review topics on Jonathan’s blog on nsb.org or whatever link you include in the outline). Which of these messages has been most challenging or thought provoking? What action or changes are you making as a result?

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Listen in as Pastor Jonathan Alexander concludes our series Practical Atheist with Free Agent or Team Player? When things don’t seem to work out, when plans don’t fall into place as expected, how do you handle it? Are you a free agent trying to fix it yourself, or do you team up with God, the Ultimate Team Manager, and rely on His power and… Continue reading →

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Join us Sunday as Pastor Jonathan Alexander continues our series Practical Atheist with Toe-tapper or Knee-bender? What does it mean to surrender all to Jesus? Do you worry or truly believe that He has the power to heal, to forgive? We’ll explore James 5:7–12 and what it means to means to place our hope and faith in God.

Small Group Questions

1. What “small” stressors in life easily lead to your impatience (e.g. traffic, long lines, being on the phone with customer service)?

2. In what “bigger” difficulties is God calling you to be patient?

3. Read James 5:9. Why is grumbling against one another so easy to do when life isn’t going according to plan?

4. Read James 5:7–8. Why do you think James mentions twice the coming of the Lord? What do hope and patience have to do with each other?

5. Read Job 1:20–22. Job suffered terribly yet worshiped God in his pain. How is this possible? Have you been able to do this?

6. Read 1 Peter 2:21–25. What would it look like, in your own difficulties, to follow Jesus’ example? Pray for each other, that God would help you entrust yourselves to him.

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Join us Sunday as Pastor Jonathan Alexander continues our series Practical Atheist with Toe-tapper or Knee-bender? What does it mean to surrender all to Jesus? Do you worry or truly believe that He has the power to heal, to forgive? We’ll explore James 5:7–12 and what it means to means to place our hope and faith in God. Small Group Questions… Continue reading →

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Join us Sunday as Pastor Jonathan Alexander continues our series Practical Atheist with Mine or His? How do we invest our resources? Do we really trust God with the resources He has blessed us with, or do we fill our lives with things that we think are necessary to sustain the way we live? We’ll explore James 4:13–5:6 and what it means to truly trust in God’s will.

Small Group Questions

1. What plans—big or small—are you making now?

2. Read James 4:13–17. What’s wrong with self-reliance, according to James?

3. Tell of a time when you consulted God and sought wisdom from His people. What did you learn?

4. Read James 5:1–6. Why is it so easy to view our resources as our own and spend them entirely on ourselves? What’s the result of living this way?

5. Read Galatians 2:20. What does this have to do with the question of “Mine or His”?

6. How is God calling you now to trust him with plans, resources, and ultimately your life?

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Join us Sunday as Pastor Jonathan Alexander continues our series Practical Atheist with Mine or His? How do we invest our resources? Do we really trust God with the resources He has blessed us with, or do we fill our lives with things that we think are necessary to sustain the way we live? We’ll explore James 4:13–5:6 and what it… Continue reading →

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Listen in as Pastor Tom Regan continues our series Practical Atheist with Hostility or Unity? What does it truly mean to be humble? With jealousy, selfish ambition, and turmoil fighting for every decision and action in our lives, where do we fit Jesus in? Listen as Pastor Tom Regan dives into James 3:13–4:12 and what it means to bring unity of Jesus in the hostility of our lives.

Small Group Questions

1. Who is the most selfless, humble person you know? (You are not allowed to name yourself). What effect does their disposition have on their relationships?

2. Read James 3:14–16 and 4:1–2. Why can jealousy and selfish-centeredness lead to so much conflict in relationships?

3. Read James 4:3. The Bible tells us to ask God for things (e.g., Matthew 7:7–8). What does it mean, then, to pray with selfish motives? How can you pray with right motives?

4. Read James 4:4–6. Why is me-ism and its breeding of antagonism tantamount to spiritual adultery?

5. Read James 4:7–8 and 3:16–18. How has God used repentance (either yours or someone else’s) to restore peace to a relationship?

6. What relationship in your life needs God’s peace and what can you do to pursue that peace?

PracticalAtheist_web

Listen in as Pastor Tom Regan continues our series Practical Atheist with Hostility or Unity? What does it truly mean to be humble? With jealousy, selfish ambition, and turmoil fighting for every decision and action in our lives, where do we fit Jesus in? Listen as Pastor Tom Regan dives into James 3:13–4:12 and what it means to bring unity of Jesus… Continue reading →

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Listen in as Pastor Jonathan Alexander continues our series Practical Atheist with Flamethrower or Fire Extinguisher? How do you speak to others? Does the same tongue that praises God and speaks the name of Jesus destroy or lift up all those whom you interact with? Listen as Pastor Jonathan Alexander dives in on James 3:1–12 and the power of our tongue.

Small Group Questions

1. Have you ever had a careless incident or accident involving fire? Share the story with your group.

2. Read Matthew 15:11, 18–19. Think of a recent time you said something that was hurtful to someone. How was what you said related to the state of your heart at the time? How have you seen the connection between the condition of the heart and the words we say?

3. Think of a recent, intense conversation you had with someone. Were you satisfied with what you said and how you said it? Did the conversation help or hurt?

4. Think of a time you were a fire extinguisher even though it was tempting to be a flamethrower in the conversation. How did you find that self-control? How did it bring peace or healing?

5. Is there a difficult conversation you need to have with someone? What will you do to make it a positive rather than negative experience? How can your group help?

PracticalAtheist_web

Listen in as Pastor Jonathan Alexander continues our series Practical Atheist with Flamethrower or Fire Extinguisher? How do you speak to others? Does the same tongue that praises God and speaks the name of Jesus destroy or lift up all those whom you interact with? Listen as Pastor Jonathan Alexander dives in on James 3:1–12 and the power of our tongue. Small… Continue reading →

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Listen in as as Pastor Jonathan Alexander continues our series Practical Atheist with Talk or Act? Ever heard of the saying “words are cheap”? Many of us can apply that to ourselves in many areas of life. But what about when it comes to our faith in Jesus? Listen as Pastor Jonathan Alexander explores James 2:14–26, and what it means to simply talk about or act out our faith.

Small Group Questions

1. What are you most looking forward to this summer?

2. Read James 2:14–16. How would you define the word “faith” as used by James? How is this different from how most people use the term?

3. Read Romans 3:23. What would you say to someone who says Paul and James are contradicting each other? How do they fit together?

4. Have there been times in your life when you claimed to have faith but it did not show up in your actions? How have you dealt with this?

5. Read Ephesians 2:8–10. Share a story of someone you know who clearly puts their faith into action. What can you learn from them?

6. What practical thing will you and your group do this summer to put your faith into action? (host a block party, serve with Go Northshore or Community Serve Day, etc.)

PracticalAtheist_web

Listen in as as Pastor Jonathan Alexander continues our series Practical Atheist with Talk or Act? Ever heard of the saying “words are cheap”? Many of us can apply that to ourselves in many areas of life. But what about when it comes to our faith in Jesus? Listen as Pastor Jonathan Alexander explores James 2:14–26, and what it means to… Continue reading →

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Listen in as Pastor Jonathan Alexander continues our series Practical Atheist with Label or Love? along a special Father’s Day tribute. When we walk into church on Sundays, what do we see, think, and do? Do we spread the love of God, or do we label with assumption? Listen as Pastor Jonathan Alexander explores James 2:1–13, revealing what it means to label or love people.

Small Group Questions

1. Have you ever invested in a new hobby or activity only to never actually do anything with it? (ex: bought camping gear, but never went camping; bought an instrument you never played; etc.) Share the story with your group.

2. Read James 1:22–27. James talks about specific areas where it’s easy to be hearers, or posers, rather than doers. Share with your group a time in your life where you were more of a poser than a doer? How did you break out of that cycle?

3. Read Matthew 7:24–27. How is being a poser rather than a doer like building on sand instead of rock?

4. Is there any area you know God wants you to take action, but hesitated to respond? How can your group help you become a doer and not a poser?

5. Read James 1:27. Over the summer, many of our small groups are partnering with local organizations to meet needs in our community. How is your group serving? Email Julie Zager, juliez@nsb.org for details on how your group can be involved in Go Northshore.

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Listen in as Pastor Jonathan Alexander continues our series Practical Atheist with Label or Love? along a special Father’s Day tribute. When we walk into church on Sundays, what do we see, think, and do? Do we spread the love of God, or do we label with assumption? Listen as Pastor Jonathan Alexander explores James 2:1–13, revealing what it means to label or… Continue reading →